BY ANDREW MOODY
Born in 1927, occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger (author of the famous Hollywood Babylon, a document of early celebrity scandals that has since been widely discredited) has made 40 films since 1937, including the notorious Lucifer Rising whose music was created by (recently dead) neo-Nazi Charlie Manson family killer Bobby Beausoleil. Anger, (born Kenneth Anglemyer) is an adherent of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema, inspired by the notorious line from Crowley’s notorious manifesto The Book of the Law
“Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law”
He claimed to be a child star in the 1935 film of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, but as is typical with Anger, this was a lie.
Anger was widely popular in the swinging sixties, where the Age of Horus, as Crowley predicted (the Age of the Child) seemed to be taking shape, and any supposed mage or charismatic leader could easily find a following. He was a close friend of Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful, and Church of Satan founder Anton Szander La Vey (before he founded the church) and was once quoted as saying he was “somewhat to the right of the KKK” in his views about black people. Racism is of course a typical trait of both Neo-Nazis and Satanists.
The short film Invocation of my Demon Brother is notorious for seemingly cursing the sixties hippy generation with its doom and demise. According to Sway by Zachary Lazar, a biography of the Satanic sixties, focusing on Manson, Beausoleil and Anger:
“Invocation of My Demon Brother had its premiere at the end of 1969. The images rush by like a strobe light, rapidly intercut, sometimes superimposed: Mick Jagger’s face, Keith Richards’s face, the face of Bobby Beausoleil, a rock musician whom nobody would have heard of at the time. In the film, there is a violent merging, a trance, all of their images blurred into one. The filmmaker, an older man named Kenneth Anger, is shown conducting an occult ceremony while helicopters land in Vietnam; Hells Angels menace fans at a Rolling Stones concert; a nightmare begins to unfold. Within months of the film’s release, Bobby Beausoleil would appear for the first time in newspapers in the company of Charles Manson—he had committed the first of the Manson murders. That same week, a fan would be killed by Hells Angels at a Stones concert at Altamont Speedway. The sixties would come to an end. An invocation draws forces in. It can lead to an evocation, which spits the forces back out.”
In a Guardian interview from three years ago, Anger claimed “The occult never quite goes away.”
“Anger,” the article continued, “at 88, is best known for his Magick Lantern Cycle, a series of spooky but highly influential films, including Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) and Scorpio Rising (1964), and for being a tutor to students – among them guitarist Jimmy Page – in the work of Aleister Crowley and Thelema, the Satanic religion he developed.
“Not Craugh-ley,” Anger corrects. “Crow-ley. As in un-holy Crow-ley”. It’s a correction Anger – who can be as sharp as his name suggests – has doubtless been making since the 1950s when he first developed his lifelong interest in the notorious English occultist, ceremonial magician and mountaineer.”
Aleister Crowley, a former MI5 agent, and his esoteric gnostic cult the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn are allegedly responsible, through their force of will, selfishness, and Gnostic powers, for causing the world chaos that began the atrocity of the first world war, which led directly to the second world war, and every war that has been waged nation against nation, by forcing the theory that doing what thou wilt is the only law, which directly inspired both Leni Riefehstahl’s hugely successful Nazi propaganda film The Triumph of the Will and Hitler’s self-belief.
The OTO officially ended in 1903, beginning in 1888, according to Wikipedia, (which can never fully be trusted.) Of course the Occult magicians (many of whom became corrupt spies, mainly for MI5) continued on with both their exceptionally effective Sex Magick and Gnostic Satanic rituals, that Anger became obsessed with. The Occult (for those not initiated into this secret world) comes from the Latin word occultus meaning hidden or secret and is typically referred to as “knowledge of the hidden” or “knowledge of the paranormal”. Whilst Anger’s films can often be crude and cheap, they have a strict mise en scene and shot composition and an eerie atmosphere that can unsettle.
It is clear the filmmaker is attempting to hypnotise the viewer with satanic imagery. In the Guardian article quoted above he was being interviewed about a set of bomber jackets with the word Lucifer on the back he was trying to sell. He also has the word Lucifer tattooed across his chest but claims he is a “pagan” not a “Satanist”, a claim that’s difficult to believe for any viewers of his films.
Incidentally (and this may be bad news for Anger) the portrait of Aleister Crowley has been permanently removed from the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square. That Crowley was a Nazi propagandist may be at least part of the reason.
Follow Andrew Moody on Twitter @VoguishFiction